Theo is participating in the Norma Jean Family Challenge. Here is his progress so far.
Name: Theo Fountain
Diabetes: Type 2
Location: Dacula, Ga.
SMART Goal: Walk at least 40,000 steps per week through year-end; lose 10 pounds (down to 215) by June 30; maintain an A1C of 7 percent or less through year-end
For Theo Fountain, who lives with type 2 diabetes, fitness is a journey, not a destination. Although he wants to lose some weight during the Family Challenge, his main goal is to follow the exercise regimen that has allowed him to keep his A1C below 7 percent. “I’m just trying to follow the things I know I should do,” he says.
Theo monitors his exercise with an activity tracker, and aims for a total of 6,000 steps per day. But his favorite type of physical activity is home remodeling. “Recently, I worked on some renovation of a house,” he says. “That’s really what I enjoy better than exercise – getting out and working.” Theo has also made some substitutions in his diet to improve his health and A1C. He hasn’t cut out sweets entirely—when he did so after his diagnosis, he found it “pretty boring”— but he does limit them as much as he can. “I try to use Stevia as a sweetener, and I try to eat mostly fruits,” he says, adding that pears are his favorite. And when it comes to sugary foods, “I don’t say I can’t have anything, but I try to have small portions and use a small spoon.”
Theo is happy with his progress so far, and has lost about 10 pounds. He recognizes, however, that this is only another step on his lifelong journey. “You have to understand that it’s not a short-term thing,” he says. “When I [was first diagnosed], I took a class about eating and it really wasn’t so much about diabetes, it was really focused on how I should have been eating all along.”